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When life throws me a curve, I try to find an equation for the best-fit line. Actually, life never really throws me a perfect curve, only a series of data that resembles one. Most people are content by connecting these random dots, forming a rudimentary picture by which they interpolate a meaning. But to me, all of that unpredictable, theoretical thought never made as much sense as a good logarithmic function. My mind tries to think in absolutes, in binary, with little extraneous interpretation. I can handle 1’s and 0’s, but understanding the 2’s is what takes effort. Life threw me a big ‘2’ when my older brother passed away of cancer when I was just fourteen. My mind could not construct a logical way to feel. In an instant, my perfect, predictable world was turned upside-down. Feelings of confusion, regret, and sorrow swirled in my head, all of them unforeseen obstacles in my attempts to make a predictable world. Grasping for an answer, I struggled to keep afloat, grabbing any steady truth I could hold on to. I needed to take the zeros and ones of my mind and make a two, a task I could not fathom how to do at the time. What I didn’t realize was that sometimes the answer is as simple as ’10’. Looking to the life my brother led for inspiration, I saw his courage and strength in the face of adversity and found my ability to grow stronger. After having his leg amputated at the age of six as a result of his first bout with cancer, he lived oblivious to his handicap, continuing to golf, swim, ski, and succeed. In my brother’s example, I learned, adapted, and grew stronger. I took the pieces of my binary thinking and constructed a two. Developing a sort of assembly code for my brain, I constructed a solid foundation for abstract thinking in my once absolute world.
Seeing the way this method of thought fit me, I took the binary foundation I started with and synthesized it into more intricate forms. Though I’ll probably never be able to predict the actions of the stock market through patterns in pi, my system helps me to analyze the curves that life throws me. I can break down problems and work logically and efficiently towards the solution in ways I never thought possible. I am even able to understand and appreciate literature, a concept that was always just out of my grasp. To me, literature was a world where there was no right answer, no function to relate everything, just some random dots with an infinite number of ways to connect them. Now, instead of disregarding anything without an absolute solution, seeing only right and wrong, black and white, I can finally interpret with all the colors of the rainbow, from #FF0000 to #330066. I want to keep building this analytical knowledge, opening doors and solving problems with a delicate mix of reason and the abstract, connecting the dots in my own unique, yet logical way.
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